Jaret Wright, after going through a rough stretch of late, was superb, taking a no-hitter to the fifth and a two-hit shutout to the ninth. Bobby lifted him after he let two of the first three hitters reach, then Smoltz let the two score. I’m not very worried about Wright, but I’m concerned that Smoltz has hit the wall again.
The Braves got all their runs in the sixth. Furcal and Giles singled, then Drew doubled the first home. Chipper walked, then the Marlins intentionally walked Estrada to face Julio. They got the groundout, but it wasn’t a DP grounder, and Giles scored. Drew came home on a wild pitch, then Andruw singled home Estrada.
Wright struck out five, walked only one. The only hits he allowed until the ninth were both to Mike Lowell, who also drew the walk. Everyone else was helpless. In the ninth, he hit a batter and allowed a single to Pierre. Lowell was on-deck when the game ended…
Only two Braves had multiple hits, Furcal and Andruw. Their only extra-base hits were doubles by Drew and Julio. Drew walked two more times. He’s not going to challenge the team single-season record (131 by Bob Elliott) but only needs four more to move into the top ten.
The lead is 9 1/2, the magic number six. The not-magic number to eliminate the Phillies is three… Ortiz will go tomorrow, and hopefully he’ll pitch well this time. He faces Ismael Valdez, of all people. No, Valdez isn’t dead, just his fastball. (Judging from the 3.37 strikeout/9 IP ratio, it is, anyway.) Even a weird Bobby Sunday lineup (Betemit at shortstop, Green at third, and DeRosa in left!) should be able to put up some runs against Valdez, which really sounds like famous last words, doesn’t it?